As a new columnist, I am eager to share some highlights of my 20 years spent funding some of the elite properties in the London market. I have had the honour of working primarily in the golden triangle of Knightsbridge, Belgravia and Chelsea, not forgetting St John’s Wood and Hampstead.
For me, business has a strong social aspect in the world’s most competitive playground – London. My career has taken a privileged path, blurring business and pleasure. In many cases, clients have become friends.
I have a passion for what I do. I love the thrill of closing each deal – the bigger the challenge, the more I enjoy it. Future articles will feature accounts of the trials, tribulations and escapades of working with the movers and shakers of the property finance industry.
This past month has been particularly exciting. The highlight was the bash to commemorate Mortgage Centre IFA’s 20th anniversary. We had over 200 guests at the Pigalle Club on Piccadilly celebrating in style. The champagne flowed in this fabulous setting as 1980s icon Tony Hadley of Spandau Ballet rocked forth.
It was a cracking night, enjoyed by the great and good of the property market, and judging by the number of floral displays we received the next day, it was an amazing success.
The Monaco Grand Prix delivered yet more glamour. A Sunday morning saunter led me to Michael Bolton re-laxing on the bow of his yacht, looking less enigma-tic than the night before.
Later that day, I had the pleasure of escorting Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka around the pit lane to meet the drivers. Unsurprisingly, I went unnoticed as the pap-arazzi snatched stills of the US’ number one model.
The race was spectacular, enhanced by more than a dash of champagne while soaking up the sunshine in a jacuzzi on a yacht.
Sunday evening was a fabulous succession of glamourous parties, hosted by a selection of billionaires.
Earlier in the month, I had lunch with the world’s greatest football manager, José Mourinho, which was a delight. With a personality that illuminates rooms, he is a charm to be with.
He even spent some time coaching my nine year old son on the finer points of the game. My son could not wait to relate his experience to envious school friends.
According to an old friend who is also his Belgravia landlord, José has given notice on his property. Will he be at Chelsea next year? I hope so.
Also this month, I attended Bank of Scotland’s corporate dinner, held in conjunction with the Royal Marsden Hospital. It attracted an array of property big hitters and assorted Hollywood glitterati. Seated behind Heather Graham, I was in awe.
The mission to raise an amazing sum of money paid off when one individual handed over a cheque for £1m. I was not surprised when my £6,000 bid for a week in Mustique was immediately followed by a £33,000 counter-bid. Firmly repositioned, I soaked up the entertainment – Bryan Adams and supermodels from Vogue. Note to diary – follow up those supermodel mortgage enquiries.
Penance kicked in the next day when my headphones failed to protect my thumping headache throughout a clay pigeon shoot with our industry’s alumni.
All in all, it’s been a busy month but a lot of fun. Being in the mortgage market has its compensations.